2010-10-16

H.M. The King's speech at a World Scout Foundation dinner, Ottawa, Saturday 16 October 2010

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Majesty,
Your Highness,
Your Excellencies,
Dear Baden Powell Fellows,
Friends of scouting,

It is a great pleasure to be here this evening to meet with so many friends of scouting!

In the history of the World Scout Foundation, this is the largest and most successful Baden-Powell Fellowship Event we have ever had. Well done Canada! You have raised more money and recruited more Fellows than anyone before you! You have much to celebrate here in Canada.

As we heard last night, despite the glowing history of scouting here, you have not rested on your laurels. You still have a great desire to grow and to inspire more young Canadians. The heroes, recognised today in the Parliament, are role models to all of us.

The commitment that your scouts have shown for their fellow scouts in Haiti and other disaster zones is most impressive. We have a slogan that says "Scouts – Creating a better world"! Well, Scouts Canada, you are doing a fine job and we congratulate you!

The fellowship that your scouts have shown drives the Baden Powell Fellowship and the World Scout Foundation. 

Here in Canada, Sweden, the USA, Germany or in Japan – we are all very lucky. Scouting is flourishing, and thanks to kind donors and enthusiastic volunteers, we have the resources to make scouting work. But for many of our 30 million scouts this is not the case. About one third live in countries where resources simply are not there.

So while the "goodwill" and voluntary spirit of these scouts is doing a good job locally, there is so much potential for a greater impact. Our foundation helps scouts in these countries in three ways:

  • We assist with resources for their local projects – helping street kids, working with AIDS orphans, saving their local environment or building stability in the local community,
  • We also arrange additional training to local leaders and young people – helping them inspire more young people with leadership training and finally,
  • We help to strengthen the National Scout Organisations in their countries, so that these local volunteers have the day-to-day support to do their devoted work

I am a convinced scout, because I have seen scouting in so many countries and what it means to young people around the world. I am not alone to have experienced it. Our mutual goal is to work and hope for a positive development.

To all the over 100 new Baden Powell Fellows from Canada here tonight, I invite you to enjoy the journey with us. I know that you will be impressed with the stories you will hear from scouts from different corners of the world.

To you – and to the many more Fellows in the audience, I say a very big thank you. On behalf of 30 million young people worldwide – you have done the right thing!

Thank you!